Letterpress Printing - Current Initiatives

Current Initiatives

Several dozen colleges and universities around the United States have either begun or re-activated programs teaching letterpress printing in fully equipped facilities. In many cases these letterpress shops are affiliated with the college's library or art department, and in others they are independent, student-run operations or extracurricular activities sponsored by the college. Many are included in degree programs. The College & University Letterpress Printers' Association (CULPA) was founded in 2006 by Abigail Uhteg at the Maryland Institute College of Art in order to help these schools stay connected and share resources.

The current renaissance of letterpress printing has created a crop of hobby press shops that are owner-operated and driven by a love of the craft. Several larger printers have added an environmental component to the venerable art by using only wind-generated electricity to drive their presses and plant equipment. Notably, a few small boutique letterpress shops are using only solar power.

In London, St Bride Library houses a large collection of letterpress information in its collection of 50,000 books: all the classic works on printing technique, visual style, typography, graphic design, calligraphy and more. This is one of the world's foremost collections and is located off Fleet Street in the heart of London's old printing and publishing district. In addition, regular talks, conferences, exhibitions and demonstrations take place.

The St Bride Institute, Edinburgh College of Art, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, The Arts University College at Bournemouth, University for the Creative Arts Farnham and London College of Communication, run short courses in letterpress as well as offering these facilities as part of their Graphic Design Degree Courses.

The Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin houses one of the largest collections of wood type and wood cuts in the world inside one of the Hamilton Manufacturing Company's factory buildings. Also included are presses and vintage prints. The museum hold many workshops and conferences throughout the year and regularly welcomes groups of students from Universities from across the United States.

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